A stigma that is more than skin deep

The social stigma around skincare conditions is steadily increasing. With the popularity of social media affecting mental health, and chemical companies increasingly promising quick-fix solutions, it’s no surprise that seven out of 10 Brits who suffer from skin care conditions report feeling self-conscious.

Research by Grahams Natural, an Australian therapeutic skin care company, explored how people are affected by common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Shockingly, nearly one in three (29%) have been discriminated against and excluded socially because of the condition of their skin. Men with skin conditions are twice as likely to have felt this, with 38% reporting exclusion or discrimination, compared to 19% of women.

The self-consciousness brought on by these skin conditions also leads to deeper problems. Half of those that suffer with eczema, psoriasis or rosacea say they are anxious or depressed as a result.

When looking at the triggers for these conditions, unsurprisingly stress tops the list, with 50% of psoriasis sufferers, 47% of eczema suffers and 34% of rosacea sufferers citing stress as the main factor in their flare ups. Almost a third (30%) of all sufferers also blamed certain soaps and toiletries, followed by hot weather (24%) and cold weather (22%).

The survey has also found that one in 10 people, including those without skin complaints, admit to excluding others from activities because of their illnesses. Over a quarter (29%) of the people surveyed who suffer themselves say that they have been prevented from going swimming and almost a quarter (23%) haven’t worn lighter, more exposing clothing in warm weather because of their skin condition.

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